Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game
An all-new tabletop roleplaying game system based in the exciting world of Sentinel Comics!
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, February 22 2019 9:00 PM UTC +00:00.
A mad scientist holds an entire city hostage with a crackling doomsday device. A horrifying monster from another realm walks out of the ocean and begins smashing its way through major coastal population centers. Galactic raiders from beyond our solar system launch an attack on the first human outpost on Mars. Who saves humanity from these threats? You do. It's time to team up with your fellow heroes, stick to your principles, and save the day!
Welcome to the world of Sentinel Comics, an exciting place of super-powered heroes, dastardly villains, and the ever-changing environments where they clash!
Creators Christopher Badell and Adam Rebottaro originally envisioned the world of Sentinel Comics in 2010, and within a year, they'd joined forces with entrepreneur Paul Bender to create the company Greater Than Games, which released the cooperative card game Sentinels of the Multiverse in 2011. Inspired by great comic book storytelling, Sentinels brought thousands of gamers into the world of Sentinel Comics over the last eight years and continues to be a mainstay of comic book games in the tabletop gaming world. There was one resounding question asked by so many of those Sentinels fans: how do I tell my super-heroic stories in this world?
Now, for just that purpose, we bring you Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game!
For the last few years, we've been developing a new super-powered roleplaying game with the fantastic folks at Critical-Hits Studios. Industry heroes Cam Banks, Dave Chalker, and Philippe-Antoine Ménard have all contributed their expertise and passion for comic book storytelling to this project, working alongside Sentinel Comics writer and Editor-in-Chief Christopher Badell as well as the dynamic freelance duo, editor Amanda Valentine and writer Clark Valentine. Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game is all about bringing the comic book stories of your heroes to life at the table!
This is a game of powerful heroes, terrifying villains, and the conflicts between them in a world of comic book storytelling. The years of Sentinel Comics storytelling that Greater Than Games has produced have all lead up to this point, and now it's time for you to take the reins of your own heroes and bring evil to justice!
In Sentinel Comics: the Roleplaying Game (or SCRPG, for short), whenever you take an action, you consult your Powers, Qualities, and your Status. You choose one of your Powers and one of your Qualities as the traits you're using for the action. Then, you consult your Status: are you in the Green Zone? The Yellow Zone? The Red Zone? If you're Out, you can only use your Incapacitated ability. And thus, we get the GYRO system: Green, Yellow, Red, and Out.
Using the dice from your hero's Power, Quality, and Status, you make a dice pool, roll it, and use the result dictated by the action you're taking. Learn more with this Gameplay Guide PDF, part of the SCRPG Starter Kit we released in 2017. It's extremely thorough, but the Core Rulebook will have even more!
Villains, minions, and environments are all affected by the GYRO system as well! The world of Sentinel Comics is one of risks and dangers, and when lives are threatened, heroes must respond!
Besides the SCRPG Starter Kit mentioned above, we've also released two one-shot adventures for the new hero team Daybreak: Stolen Legacy and Urban Infestation! Using the above-linked Gameplay Guide to learn the game, you can play through both of those adventures to get a first-hand feeling for just how Sentinel Comics: the Roleplaying Game works!
The best way to get into this game is with Sentinel Comics: the Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. It's a hardbound, full-color, 8.5" by 11" book printed on well over 400 pages (we're still determining the final page count as we finish up the writing and art!) of high-quality printing-press grade paper.
The core rulebook teaches you everything you need to play Sentinel Comics: the Roleplaying Game, whether playing a hero, or running the game as the GM. It has full, robust rules for hero creation (that we will be showcasing more in an update, coming soon!), as well as a vast set of tools for GMs to create their own minions, lieutenants, challenges, villains, environments, doomsday devices, action scenes, and so much more!
Additionally, for those who want more building blocks than blank slates, there is a massive archive section, containing many heroes, villains, minions, and environments from the pages of Sentinel Comics, all with stats, backstory, and art from many different talented artists, not just Adam Rebottaro! (But don't worry - the book will also have PLENTY of Adam's art, as well.) We'll be digging into which characters and environments will appear in those archives as well as more in-depth discussions of each chapter over the course of this campaign.
Also, check out this video to learn how heroes are made in the SCRPG!
You'll note that there are many cool things in each level other than just the core rulebook! Let's talk about those things now!
For those of you looking for something a little more fancy, we present the Special Edition of the Sentinel Comics: the Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook! Bound in high quality leather with embossed foil ink on the cover, the Special Edition rulebook is a classy companion for your tabletop gaming experience. It also features exciting hero and villain art on the inside front and back cover pages, as well as four ribbons sewn into the binding, for keeping tabs on pages you frequently reference.
The Special Edition of the SCRPG Core Rulebook is being produced at the same time as the standard rulebook, so it will ship simultaneously - it won't delay the creation of the game or fulfillment, and it won't be released later than the standard core rulebook.
Part of what people love about Sentinel Comics is the rich and lengthy backstory of its (entirely made up) comic book history. When Christopher and Adam first sat down to create these heroes and villains and tell their stories, they realized that the world would feel more real and more full if it had the strong history that comic books do in the "real world". Thus, they built yet another layer of fiction, creating the fictional comic book company "Sentinel Comics" and crafting stories not just of what happened in the pages of their comics, but also what happened in that world to inspire the creators of those comics.
Real life comic book historians Darren Watts and Professor Christopher McGlothlin approached Christopher Badell in 2016 with the idea of writing a book detailing that history, and they quickly realized they had their work cut out for them. The history that Christopher and Adam had created was evocative and thrilling, but also missing several important elements. Not dissuaded from their task, Watts and McGlothlin wrote up a storm, tenaciously bombarding Christopher and Adam with all manner of questions and conducting many joint brainstorming sessions to uncover the truth of the history of Sentinel Comics.
Now, the fruits of their labors have been realized! The real life book The History of Sentinel Comics by Darren Watts and Professor Christopher McGlothlin is coming to life with this Kickstarter. Take a look!
And here's the sort of thing you can look forward to in this book:
But what does that "a man named xxx" in the second paragraph mean? Who is named xxx? It could be you! Backers at the "A Part of Sentinels History" pledge level will get their name in The History of Sentinel Comics! There are only so many open slots in the book, so we have to limit that pledge level to only 50 people, so first-come, first-served! Be a part of Sentinel Comics!
Playing SCRPG involves the players working together with the GM, helping their heroes play to their principles and ultimately save the day... but at what cost?! GMs frequently need to come up with twists on the fly in action scenes, or create minions in response to hero or villain actions. To make your job as GM easier, we've created a kit of useful GM supplies:
The SCRPG GM Kit comes with several helpful tools, including:
- A double-sided dry-erase scene tracker with an average scene tracker on one side and a black and white, customize-able scene tracker on the other
- A total of 16 double-sided dry-erase challenge, minion, and lieutenant cards
- 6 blank dry-erase cards for you to use as needed for tracking hero turns in the action order, or whatever dastardly deeds your minions may have up their sleeves
- A tear-off pad of 100 full-color double-sided blank hero character sheets
- A tear-off pad of 100 full-color double-sided blank villain/minion/lieutenant sheets
- A 4-panel GM screen (in progress art below) with exciting, full-color art by Adam on one side and a ton of handy info on the other
Everything a GM could want to jump start their game!
SCRPG uses a range of dice from four-sided to twelve-sided. We've created a set with three of each of those die types for you. Our dice are customized with engraved numbers in one of our signature Sentinel Comics fonts. Each die type is a different color made to match the example images in the core rulebook as well as the colors of each section tab. All dice are made from colored, semi-translucent material with darker flecks throughout as a visual nod to the look of comic book half tone patterns. White numbers complete the aesthetic and are easily visible so the action doesn't stop because you can't read your dice!
While you can use any dice with the appropriate number of sides and numbering for this system, we've received many requests for a set of custom SCRPG dice, and this is it! A vast cornucopia of dice appropriate for super-heroic encounters!
If you want to add any of these products to your pledge, you can do so by increasing your pledge by the appropriate amount.
We will be using a pledge manager post-campaign where you can update your address and manage your rewards, adding on more things at that time if you so desire.
We funded in the first hour, and we're incredibly grateful to all of you! We have several additional books we'd like to make, as well as a few free upgrades and more!
Unlocked Stretch Goals
We funded! As a result, we'll be sending every backer a PDF of the Sentinel Comics timeline!
For hitting $75k, we added the heroes Heritage and Time-Slinger to the archives of the core rulebook!
For hitting $100k, we unlocked The GUISE Book!, a zany book of SCRPG content by Clark Valentine, Dave Chalker, and Christopher Badell about Guise, his friends, his foes, and his adventures. Now on the list of add-ons for this campaign!
For reaching $125k, we added the villains Fright Train and Ermine to the archives of the core rulebook!
Because we passed $150k, we're going to make a Sentinel Comics coloring book and send it to all of you! Everyone who backs the campaign for at least one physical product will also get a physical copy of the coloring book for free (as well as a PDF of the coloring book)! Anyone who is backing for just PDFs on the campaign will also get a free PDF of the coloring book.
As a result of reaching $175k, we'll be sending all of you PDFs of the hero sheets for The Visitors and The Escalators!
For hitting the $200k mark, we're unlocked a two-part Adventure Book, containing a six-issue adventure about the Diamond Book of Monsters and a six-issue adventure about the dreaded xxtz'Hulissh! It's now on the list of add-ons that can be added to your pledge!
For breaking through $250k, Adam and Christopher are creating a one-shot adventure that connects the story from the end of the Starter Kit issues to the beginning of the Sentinels of Freedom video game! All backers for at least one physical product will also get a physical copy of the adventure for free (as well as a PDF)! Those backing for just PDFs will get a free PDF of the adventure.
And there are two more stretch goals on the horizon!
Also, a thing that's not a stretch goal but we're sending to all backers: as part of Kickstarter's Zine Quest, we'll be sending everyone the Sentinel Choices adventure zine! Learn more about it in our third update.
Click the quotes below to read or listen to the full reviews!
In addition to the core teams behind Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game and The History of Sentinel Comics, Greater Than Games has been extremely blessed to work with an amazing extended team of writers and artists. That list is continuously growing as we work on these projects, but we wanted to take a moment to highlight the talented individuals that we've been lucky enough to work with thus far.
Sentinel Comics: The Roleplaying Game
Additional Writers: Patrick Clapp, Tim Rodriguez, Eric Simon, Tracy Barnett, Tommy Maranges, Cory O'Brien, Jerry Holkins
Copy Editors: Chris Burton, Alex Schmidt
Artists: Valerio Buonfantino, Jacqui Davis, Giulio Fanfoni, Grace Gonzaga, Kendall Hale, Will Jones, Angela Lichtenberg (Kassarie), Jorge Ramos, Joël Séguin, Kevin Shah (Colorreaper), Gene Shaw, Paolo Siega, Joseph Wei Wang, Damon Westenhofer, Ben Wilsonham
The History of Sentinel Comics
Artists: Storn A. Cook, KC Lancaster, Bradley K. McDevitt, Sarah Zeiter
Shipping for this campaign is very complicated for several reasons. We've got a lot of details below if you want to know why your particular country has the shipping charges that it does. There are also several complexities about shipping in this campaign, and ways in which it differs from our past campaigns. Here are the main points!
1) We will be charging shipping on a per item basis. These charges are integrated into the various pledge levels, but will be per additional item that you add on. That means that, while you can combine shipping with someone else, there is generally no benefit to doing so.
2) There are two reasons we are charging a per-item shipping fee. The first is that, on any campaign, shipping and labor charges tend to scale with the number of items a person is receiving. However, the major change with this campaign is that we are shipping each item as it arrives from the factory. This means that you will likely get one shipment per type of item you back in this campaign. The only exception is the GM Kit and Dice Set, which will ship together.
3) The reason we opted for multiple shipping waves with this campaign is that the majority of the products are books. Books are notoriously very time consuming to write and develop, so we didn't want to hold up most of your rewards if one book overshot the release target. Conversely, books are notably easy to ship, both because they are dense, and because we can use Media Mail in the US (which is very cheap), and because the import duties and taxes in most countries are fairly low for books.
Without further ado, here are the *per item* shipping charges for each country / region:
Note One: The GM Kit and the Dice Set will be shipped together. This means that if you add on or back at a pledge level that includes one or both of those items, you will only pay the appropriate shipping charge once.
Note Two: Shipping charges will be processed through Kickstarter. However, VAT charges will be charged separately through the pledge manager after the campaign ends.
Note Three: The delivery dates on each pledge level are the estimated dates by which we believe we will ship you everything at that pledge level. You will very likely receive some items earlier. Additionally, if we unlock any add-on stretch goals and you choose to add them to your pledge, they will likely ship later than that date.
OK! So, what does this mean in terms of shipping charges for each pledge level? Here's what they'll look like:
Now, on to a more detailed explanation of the shipping charges for each of these regions:
For US backers, we are offering free shipping. This is not because we have invented a teleporter and shipping is suddenly free. We will still pay a substantial amount to ship each parcel to US backers, both in actual shipping charges and in labor & materials. However, we know that everyone likes the idea of free shipping (including us!) and has come to expect it in Kickstarter campaigns, so we are subsidizing shipping enough to make US shipping free. All US orders will ship from our US warehouse via USPS.
For Canadians, we are offering $9/$4 shipping per item. This also covers import taxes and customs duties, which we will pay at the point when the products enter Canada. Of course, $9 or $4 is not the actual cost of shipping and import duties to Canada. It is not even the difference between the actual cost of Canadian shipping and the actual cost of US shipping, which is more like $9-$20, depending on the item and where in Canada you live. This means that US backers are subsidizing Canadian backers slightly, in the amount of anywhere from $0-$11 per parcel. However, we really want to make our games as accessible as possible in Canada, and $9 and $4 is a nice, low flat rate that we can live with from a business perspective. All Canadian orders will ship from our US warehouse, but be delivered via FedEx Canada - we will cover all customs and import duties.
For Australians, we are offering $14/19 shipping per item. This also covers import taxes and customs duties, which we will pay at the point when the products enter Australia. $14 or even $19 is not the actual cost of shipping to Australia. It is not even the difference between the actual cost of Australian shipping and the actual cost of US shipping, which is more like $20-$40, depending on the item and where in Australia you live. This means that US backers are subsidizing Australian backer in the amount of $6-$11 per parcel. However, we really want to make our games as accessible as possible in Australia because we know how hard it can be to get US products in AUS. We have also managed to lower this cost substantially by partnering with an Australian distributor and fulfillment house. All Australian orders will be shipped by VR Distribution.
For backers from China (including Hong Kong and Macau), we are offering $29/$24 shipping. This also covers import taxes and customs duties, which we will pay at the point when the products enter China. Note that the majority of products in this campaign actually have to be shipped to China from the US, since they are books that will be made in the US. That means that they will be subject to import tariffs in China, which we will pay. We are partnering with VFI Asia for this campaign, and if it goes well, we hope that we'll be able to get shipping costs even lower on future Kickstarter campaigns when all of the items are made in China. All Chinese orders will be shipped by VFI Asia.
For Russians and South Americans, shipping will cost $39/$49 per item. This does NOT include any customs duties or import taxes. Unfortunately, this is incredibly high, and reflects that fact that it is incredibly expensive and incredibly difficult to successfully ship any items to any of these countries. In addition, we are only willing to make a single delivery attempt to you in any of these countries. If any shipments are lost or returned to us, we will unfortunately not be able to re-ship them. We will refund you your pledge minus a 20% fee to cover Kickstarter and other fees. We really do not want to do this, as it will cost us an incredibly large amount of money (the actual shipping charges, and then the return charges if the item is returned, or the replacement charges if they are lost). However, it costs us even more money every campaign to ship multiple times to countries with very complex customs and import regimes. All Russian and South American orders will be shipped by Spiral Galaxy Games in the UK.
For Europeans (including EU countries as well as Norway and Switzerland, but unfortunately not Russia or other non-EU countries), we are offering $14/$9 shipping + VAT. What does this mean? Well, it turns out that the EU has been really tightening the rules on VAT and import duties recently as a result of widespread VAT fraud on the part of foreign companies. You can read some of the details here, but the summary is that, according to EU law, any items imported into the EU are subject to VAT charges (generally 20%-25% in the case of board games and most other items) based on the actual sale price PLUS the actual shipping cost. That means that, for example, for a $59 game with $15 shipping, the 24% VAT will be assessed against the total $74 price, and will come out to approximately $17.76.
Note that this law applies no matter how we fulfill the games. If we ship from the US, each parcel is subject to the VAT charge once it enters the EU. On the other hand, if we ship a bunch of games to a fulfillment center in the EU, the whole shipment is subject to VAT when it enters the EU, and, even though the games are arriving in bulk, the VAT is based on the actual sales price to consumers (in this case, on Kickstarter), not the lower wholesale or manufacturing cost, so this method doesn’t actually save any money on VAT charges (though there can be other benefits). In this case, all European orders will be shipped by Spiral Galaxy Games in the UK.
For this campaign, there is yet another complexity! It turns out that most of the governments in Europe (but, annoyingly, not all) have decided that books should be taxed at a substantially lower VAT rate! That means that all of the book items for this campaign (basically, everything except the GM Kit and the Dice Set) will be charged the lower VAT rate.
Both VAT rates vary wildly. If you want to look into it in more detail, this website has a good amount of information. For the rest of you, here is a handy chart!
European Shipping Questions
Q: So, why are you charging VAT separately from shipping charges for Europeans?
A: As we mentioned above, the VAT charges are based on the sale price + shipping. If we include VAT as part of the “shipping” charge, EU customs is likely to consider that whole charge to be “shipping” and charge VAT based on the full amount, including what we already charged for VAT!
Q: OK, so, how much am I going to pay to get this game in Europe?
A: There is a fixed $14 or $9 fee per item for shipping, which you will pay via Kickstarter. Then, before the campaign is fulfilled, we will calculate each European backer’s VAT and charge you for VAT via the pledge manager before shipping out your parcel.
Q: Will I have to pay any customs clearance fees or anything when I receive my shipment?
A: No, you will not! We will have Spiral Galaxy Games in the UK fulfill this Kickstarter for European backers, which means that, after we charge you for VAT through our pledge manager, we’ll handle the payment processing for VAT and import duties on the games. Then, Spiral Galaxy will ship all of your parcels out from within the EU and avoid any weird delays or further charges.
Q: Where are you getting all of this information? It seems stupid and wrong and I don’t like it.
A: We talked to a lot of shipping companies, attorneys, and other professionals about the implications of EU law and how, exactly, VAT works. For a decent summary, the government of Finland has a pretty helpful website (and the information is, for the most part, broadly applicable across the EU).
Q: Wait, but [insert other Kickstarter here] shipped stuff to Europe for way cheaper than this. Why can’t you just do what they did?
A: They either lost a ton of money on shipping, or they committed customs fraud, and we don’t want to do either of those things.
Q: You say above that you are subsidizing shipping to Canadians and Australians. Why don’t you subsidize shipping to Europeans?
A: We do! The $14/$9 per item we are charging for shipping is not the actual cost of shipping and import duties to Europe. It is not even the difference between the actual cost of European shipping and the actual cost of US shipping, which is more like $14-$29 (there is a lot of variance, because it depends on the size of the shipment we are importing to Europe, and to which country in Europe the shipment is heading). This means that US backers are subsidizing European backers slightly, in the amount of $5-$15 per parcel.
Q: Why do Norway and Switzerland have to follow these rules? They aren’t in the EU!
A: That is true! However, the customs regimes in Norway and Switzerland are very similar to those of the EU, by design.
Q: What about Brexit?
A: Brexit could complicate a lot of things, but what, exactly, it might complicate about this depends on the final form it takes. We’ll cross that bridge if/when we come to it, and let you know about anything we wind up doing to work through it. Unfortunately, no one knows what will happen with Brexit, including Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. If you have any secret information, please let us know. :)
Q: I hate VAT; is there anything I can do about it?
A: Us, too! Honestly, the only thing you can do is vote and call your local politicians. We’ll do the same over here to see if we can avoid a long, stupid trade war.
Risks and challenges
As with any project that involves the production and manufacture of a good to be delivered, there is certainly a real chance for hiccups, delays, and more than one or two grimloids gumming up the works along the way. Many tabletop gaming projects on Kickstarter have been seriously hampered by art production delays, problems with an overseas factory, missing units, and one shipping snafu after another.
For the last Sentinel Comics Kickstarter, Sentinels of the Multiverse: OblivAeon, we had a lot of delays. We over-promised on stretch goals, committed to an incredibly elaborate storage solution, and wildly underestimated how much time it would take to finish the game design and production. It was also our first project with over 10,000 backers, and we did not have our shipping or customer service teams set up to handle that volume. Fortunately, we now have a much better idea of what it takes to handle a project of that scale as well as what we can promise and what we can't. Additionally, we've been working on this game for a number of years, and it is much farther along than OblivAeon was when we launched it. We are very hopeful that we can stick to our stated delivery time with this campaign.
We won't lie - stuff happens. Delays can occur. Sometimes you have to go back and forth on color samples six times just to get the color right, and even then the color isn't perfect. But what we do promise is that we will hold ourselves to the same high standards we expect from other board game publishers and our previous projects, and we will be completely honest and open with each of you every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!